return to cinematic glory as Hollywood North took a step
closer to reality in recent weeks when makers of the musical Rent
signed on for filming at Treasure Island.
No sooner had the City inked the Rent deal than the organizers of
our most glamorous Oscar party, the Friends of the Academy gala, announced
"A Night of Silver" as the theme for the February 27 event at Fort
Mason. The Friends' 25th annual gala will transport guests through
the other side of the silver screen, like Alice through a looking
glass, to a "contrasting, gleaming world of the future." Sounds like
fun. Last year, the Friends raised $450,000 for 14 Bay Area AIDS service
In other movie news, the long awaited national release of Judy Irving's
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
gets underway in just a few weeks. Locals can catch Wild Parrots beginning
February 9 at the Embarcadero Theatre.
Here is one list on which Irving is not likely ever to find her wonderful
documentary of free spirited parrots in San Francisco. In a departure
from other features on movies made in our town, Heart of the City
offers a run down of the turgid and the terrible - the so-called killer
B's. These are the films that blight up our lives and sully San Francisco's
The Sweetest Thing stars Cameron
Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair as roommates in a run of
the mill sex and dating comedy. The 2002 release was directed by Roger
Kumble from a script by Nancy Pimental. The women's address is given
as 1151 Kearny Street. Other San Francisco locations include the Black
Cat restaurant, Marriot Hotel, Palace of Fine Arts, Grant Cleaners,
and Mayerson Food Co.
Brendan Fraser takes a dip in the Vaillancourt Fountain in the 2000
comedy Bedazzled. Elizabeth
Hurley is the Devil, who grants Fraser's character seven wishes. He
should have wished for a different project. Other City locations include
the Ferry Building, City Hall, Columbus Avenue and other streets,
and the Golden Gate Bridge. Directed by Harold Ramis from original
material written by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. The superior and
very funny 1967 version stars Cook and Moore with Raquel Welch but
without San Francisco.
Crowds gathered in North Beach when a film crew shot scenes for Twisted
at The Saloon, 1232 Grant Avenue. Ashley Judd stars in director Philip
Kaufman's 2004 turkey that casts Judd as a homicide inspector who's
her own best suspect. The painfully predictable Twisted also stars
Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia. Pine Sol lady comedian Diane Amos
appears briefly. Also features scenes at Tosca, Red's Java House,
City Hall, Crissy Field, Pac Bell Park, Pier 39 Sea Lions, Hills Bros.
Building, the Old Mint, and a crime scene at 3525 Pacific Avenue.
Workaholic advertising executive Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) learns
to relax by spending time at Dolores Park with dying honey Charleze
Theron in the difficult-to-watch 2001 remake of Sweet
November. Reeves and Theron have little chemistry and the script
by Kurt Voelker is a cut-and-paste from Lifetime movies on TV. City
locations like Farley's on Potrero Hill are a good distraction from
the story. When Theron and Reeves meet at the overpass along the J-Line
at Dolores Park, director Pat O'Connor chose to conceal the statue
on the east side of the bridge with a makeshift greenhouse. The statue
is that of Miguel Hidalgo, the Mexican revolutionary who was executed
at Chihuahua in 1811.
In 2002, acclaimed director Ang Lee's Hulk
was filmed in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The feature version
of the Marvel comic by Stan Lee revisits the story of scientist Bruce
Banner and his alter ego, the raging Hulk. The boring blockbuster
featured action sequences and a Hulk transformation at Vallejo and
Rollerball is the 2002 remake
about a culture under global corporate domination. Rollerball, a track
game played with motorcycles and roller skaters, is the blood sport
of a violent society. Chris Klein stars as Jonathan Cross, who races
down San Francisco's steep streets on his back, against traffic, before
moving on to the big time as a Rollerballer. A downtown stretch of
Sacramento Street along Nob Hill, Chinatown, and the Financial District
is a featured location. Critics hated this remake, directed by John
McTiernan, who also made "Die Hard."
The Other Sister is director
Garry Marshall's shameless 1999 comedy/drama about a mentally challenged
woman ready to assert her independence. Juliette Lewis is the young
woman, Carla Tate. Diane Keaton is her protective mother, Elizabeth.
Carla marries sweetheart Giovanni Ribisi at the National Shrine of
St. Francis in North Beach. The Palace of Fine Arts, the Bay Bridge,
and the Golden Gate also appear.
Strangers Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan meet at the Buena Vista Cafe, where
they argue before making out in front of a gawking crowd in When
a Man Loves a Woman. Later, Meg and Andy are married with children
and Meg's character Alice, is a dry drunk who starts to question the
whole arrangement. The 1994 snore is directed by Luis Mandoki.
Chris O'Donnell is chased through the Stockton Tunnel by a thousand
brides in The Bachelor. The 1999
romantic comedy from director Gary Sinyor includes performances by
Renee Zellweger, Ed Asner, Brooke Shields, Mariah Carey, Hal Holbrook,
Peter Ustinov, and James Cromwell. The lame story centers on O'Donnell,
who must find a bride in 24 hours in order to inherit $100 million.
In Dogfight, River Phoenix and
Lily Taylor hop off a north bound cable car at Geary and Powell when
the conductor calls, "Powell and Market," a south bound stop a few
blocks away. San Franciscans never miss a trick when it comes to out-of-sequence
locations. In this 1991 coming of age story directed by Nancy Savoca,
Phoenix and Taylor meet and fall in love in the hours before the Phoenix
character is shipped off to Vietnam in 1963. They should have shipped
off the prints of this film instead.
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